Saturday, June 28, 2008


It’s official. Monsoon season is upon us. We had two days in a row of cloudy sky and a few brief minutes of rain. The first day brought some wind and cooler temps which were definitely appreciated. That night dropped down to low 70s so there were lots of us outside soaking in the cool air and breezes. It was a welcome relief after a long 11 day spell of over 110. Maybe it’s just psychological, but 101-105 seems bearable…but when the needle gets over 110…’s HOT. The brief storms weren’t anything to worry about. Don and I sat out on the patio to watch the lightning and enjoy Mother Nature’s theatrical act in the sky while we sipped on a couple of icy cold Amber Bocks.

Print and Pack Express
My boss, Vicki Stonebraker who owns Print and Pack Express where I work, is on “vacation” this week with her husband, Jack, and a handful of friends. I use the term vacation rather loosely as it certainly won’t be a restful time off. They’re flying to Tanzania Africa to hike up Mount Kilamanjaro. They’ve been working out every day for the last couple months to get themselves in shape for the expedition. More power to them I say. It’s certainly not my cup of tea but they’re really off to an exciting adventure. If you’d like to see some spectacular scenery, I’ll direct you to a website full of photographs after they return. At any rate, while they’re gone, I’m working full time to cover the store while they’re away. Whew! That makes for some long days….but I’ll have extra funds to spend at the casino when it’s all over!

Casa Grande Construction
This morning’s Dispatch announced that Olive Garden starts hiring July 1 and is scheduled to open August 4. Yahoo! The new manager is a woman who has been managing an Olive Garden in Tucson. Can’t wait for those delicious salads and breadsticks! Yum.

Our state legislature and the governor have okayed the construction of a huge amusement park to be built in Eloy. It should be completed by 2010 and will be themed as a Rock and Roll park….similar to a Six Flags type of thing. Maybe that’s why Casa Grande is building so many hotels. The Luxury Suites (extended stay) is opening 480 rooms plus a LaQuinta Inn wants to build over behind the Dairy Queen by Hiway 10. There is a huge Walgreen’s store under construction in front of Mission Royale across from the Promenade and they’re putting in the underground works for another 3-4 retail pads while they’re at it.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


We had a nice turn out for our first summer activities this week. Many thanks to Diane Gaines and park management for hosting these events for us “year rounders” who aren’t scared away by the heat of the desert sun.

Sunday’s ice cream social provided a pleasant “social hour” to get together with neighbors and meet new friends. The only thing we had to bring was our favorite topping. With all those choices on the table, we built some delicious Sundaes! Yum!

Monday was Bingo!! A special “Thank You” goes to Flo Fillipi for hosting the event. I think I could write a whole article about Bingo and all the work that goes on behind the scenes. Bingo is actually one of the biggest events held at Palm Creek as it occurs every Monday during season and involves several hundred people each week.

Palm Creek must obtain a special license to provide bingo on the premises and along with a license comes volumes of rules and the red tape of paperwork. Lori, a past Activities Director, went to the City Council to apply for the park's first bingo license many moons ago. As the park grew, Flo went back to the council for a second license. Did you know there is actually a State Department of Revenue—Bingo Division? They have the power to yea or nay a bingo license and they take in about 2.5% of the gross income generated from the games. What will bureaucracy think of next? Anyway….Flo takes care of all the paperwork and the reports that are required plus makes sure the licenses are renewed each year. She is the heartbeat of our bingo success.

Flo studies the official bingo rule book to make sure Palm Creek is in compliance and never comes in danger of license revocation. As the park grew and a second license was obtained, we were lucky to find another volunteer to head up that second license. A thank you also goes to Jackie Johnson (and hubby, Don who sometimes serves as supervisor on game nights or staffs the caller’s box). Flo and Jackie are responsible to make sure the “official” bingo rules are read at the beginning of each game. That’s why you will always hear them pleading for people to be quiet long enough for the “reading of the rules”. Our licenses dictate that the maximum we can award is $1,000 in one game and total for evening can not exceed $3,000. That is why sometimes we have to offer more chances to win jackpots because we can't exceed giving more than a $1,000 in a game. Flo did write a check once for $1,000 to a VERY lucky winner

Jackie (left), Flo (right), Linda (seated)

Flo and Jackie must round up enough volunteers to assist with each game. The ticket sellers, money handlers, and the caller must all be signed up on each license. That fat rule book specifically lists the duties of each position. That’s why you see the call back people who read off the numbers on a bingo card plus a separate person to hand out the prize money. A call back person can’t handle the cash. A bingo supervisor who sits at the back table as “judge” and counts the sale money can’t actually participate or play the game. I was really surprised to learn how many people it takes to make our bingo events a success. AND…..don’t forget those wonderful, generous, friendly folks who staff the kitchen each week. This year we were very fortunate to have Ted and Donna join our park. They staffed the kitchen EVERY week this past season.

Again…..a sincere thank you to Flo and Jackie plus their roster of volunteers who stage our bingo games. You folks provide laughter, entertainment, camaraderie, and FUN to hundreds of people week after week….year after year. I as an avid Bingo fan salute you.

Don Johnson.....Bingo Caller

P.S. must wear your name tag to bingo every time you play. Please don't ask to be excused from that rule as it applies to everyone. As the population of Palm Creek continues to grow, it is a very good idea to wear that name tag to ALL events.

Monday, June 09, 2008


We have ACTIVITIES this summer at Palm Creek! This Sunday at 1:30 will be an ice cream social and Monday, June 16, is BINGO! We’re going to give it a try and see how many people turn out for the events. The Memorial Day picnic was a huge success with over 200 people in attendance. Those who attended were very pleased with the event and asked for more summer time activities.

Ice cream socials will be held at 1:30 on Sundays: June 15 and July 13.
Movie nights will be at 6:30 on June 25, July 23, August 18, and September 17.

Other events include:
July 4, 11:00 – Picnic Lunch
August 6, 4:30 -- Happy Hour
August 28, 6:30 – Desserts and Coffee

It’s really nice to have some “official” social events planned.

Other Palm Creek news involves some personnel changes. Pool rumors have it that Carolyn Jackson (Activities Director), Carrie (Park Model Sales), and Desiree (front reception desk) are no longer on staff. No announcements yet as to any replacements.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Ah-So Steak and Sushi Bar

I extend a hearty welcome to the Ah-So Steak and Sushi Bar at the Promenade Mall. The place is awesome!!! We went there Saturday night with Bob and Bev Carte and had a wonderful time. You enter through the front door into a sports bar area and then have a choice to eat from the kitchen menu or the teppan menu.

Choose TEPPAN!! That’s where the chef cooks your meal over a huge grill at the center of your table. He puts on a very entertaining show during the process too. He can flip knives and spatulas like a juggler and entertains with the food and fire as he cooks. When he first oils the grill, he ignites the oil and flames shoot all the way to the ceiling. Awesome!

He fries the rice and vegetables and then cuts up the steak, chicken, shrimp, or lobster…whatever you order. Bev and I had steak and lobster and loved every morsel. The hot grill, spices, soy sauce, etc. really add a great flavor.

The sports bar by itself seems to be popular as we visited there again tonight after attending the Indiana Jones movie. It is a great location for dinner and a movie…..or in our case….movie and dinner. The place is a wonderful addition to Casa Grande. Be sure to add it to your “to do” list when you get back to town. (Next time I’ll take my camera.)

Monday, June 02, 2008

Library News

WOW…our Palm Creek library hit paydirt today! I went up to do my nightly library chores (I seem to have volunteered to be the one and only summer librarian) and found that someone very kindly donated a whole arm load of great like-new hard back books. It was a great collection of authors too…..quite a few James Patterson, Clive Cussler, Robert Ludlum, etc. Wish I knew who donated the books so I could send them a big thank you. Maybe they’ll read this blog and know how much we avid readers appreciate their generosity.

I think I’ll write this entire blog entry about our library and try to give credit to the list of volunteers who donate their time to keep the library neat and tidy. Every day someone comes in to return borrowed books to their proper place on the shelves plus check in the new donations. It sounds minor, but if it weren’t for their time, the place would be in shambles.

Our new Head Librarian is Pat Schurr. Pat has organized libraries at previous campgrounds and RV resorts along her RVing path and brought her expertise to Palm Creek. Pat, along with her “staff” of volunteers, made some great improvements to the bookshelves. The biggest task they tackled was putting new round labels on the spines of all the books. That was quite a chore! You’ll notice that the books all have the round label about an inch from the bottom of the book and contain the first three letters of the author’s last name. This really helps when you’re looking for a particular author or if you’re returning a book to its proper place on the shelf.

The library also received a new magazine rack this year. Why throw a good magazine away? Bring it to the library to share with other browsers. It’s fun to look through the varied collection of interests.

We’ve also accumulated a nice collection of audio books and large print books. I think I’ll check out an audio book for our next long car ride to Mexico to help pass the time.

With our library being a true “lending” library (meaning folks are asked to return the books when they’re done reading them), we have gathered a nice assortment of great reading material. I’m also amazed at the jigsaw puzzle fans in our resort. There is a huge collection of puzzles and there is usually at least one under construction at all times. Folks come in and work at the puzzle for a while. Then they leave and someone else fills in. Pretty soon the puzzle is complete and the next day there will be a new one started.

I’m surprised at how active the library is when the park seems so “empty” this summer. I kept a log of the activity this past week. I reshelved 58 books that had been returned and logged in 78 newly donated ones. That’s not counting the 32 new books that were donated yesterday! There may not be many people left in the park, but they sure are active readers.

Best Selling Authors to be found in our library: How many have you read???????

James Patterson Carl Hiaase Jonathan Kellerman Dean Koontz
Nora Roberts Patricia Cornwell Janet Evanovich Dick Francis
John Sandford JK Rowling Robert Ludlum Louie Lamour
John Grisham Larry McMurtry Tom Clancy Dale Brown
Clive Cussler Danielle Steel Ann Rule